One of the most serious traffic offenses a motorist can be issued a ticket for is tailgating. tailgating is a violation of NJSA 39:4-89. If convicted of a tailgating violation, the defendant will be assessed five (5) motor vehicle points. From time to time, the state police and local police departments will implement initiatives to enforce the tailgating laws.
The legislature has indicated how serious this offense is by imposing such stiff penalties upon conviction. To put this in perspective, a motorist who exceeds the speed limit by 30 mph and over is also subject to five points and a potential loss of license. This offense is in the same category in terms of seriousness. Making matters worse, case law has adopted a very generous analysis of what consitutes a tailgaiting offense. For example, in Pagano v. McClammy, 159 N.J. Super. 581 (1978), a defendant who drove 40 miles mph and followed another vehicle for a distance of approximately 15 to 20 feet was tailgating.
Nonetheless, when a defendant is charged with a serious speeding offense, the likelihood that her attorney will be able to negotiate a zero (0) point amendment is highly uncertain. But I have found that I can make arguments in connection with tailgating offenses that frequently result in very advantageous outcomes for my client.